music across generations



i) in Italian, about Fabrizio de Andrè:


PREMISE TO POVIA CASE STUDY. There are 2 strategies competing in consultancy global markets:

a) Declining. BLUE OCEANS = MAKE THE COMPETITION IRRELEVANT. Yes, but: how? I tried hard, and I am tired.

b) Emerging. POVIA business  model = MAKE THE COMPETITION DISAPPEAR, under a Tsunami of quite senseless discussions and polemics (PERCOLATING from media to bars and streets) on a very hot argument, that has  nothing to do with your product. But  everyone think it has, until they buy it: obliged by their own behaviour, self organisation. This business  model applies the best mathematics (Field medal winner René Thom; Prigogine’s probabilistic differential equations), but costs you $0. I said: zero.

ii) in Italian, about a new business model in music marketing invented by Povia, a Mr Nobody until 1 year ago: when he went to the Sanremo festival; this year he improved the model – now a paradigm (imitable in all service industries, even in manufacturing) about how to beat the crisis, much better than Fontainebleau business school’s Blue Oceans Strategy (which costs the price of the book, $30; $ 20.75 at Amazon). No ad expenditure, nor  “passaparola” (word of mouth). A 3rd way: you don’t pay your agents, you just provoke them strategically, and they’ll work for you gratis et amore Dei. No novelty, but Povia is a case study for doing this as a business model. In this moment (mid february 2009) no one is talking about anything else among Italian youngsters, filling social media spaces with thousands of discussions: about Povia.

The last aspect is a Magistral Lectio (I’ll propose Povia for a Honoris Causae) about WHAT TO DO in Web2.0 Social Marketing:  all the experts have been speculating on this subject for 10 years, a Star War “Yahoo versus Microsoft” exploded last year only for this. With 0 results. And here comes such a simple (?) person like Povia  – with THE SOLUTION. We’ll return on it: basically, Social Media must not be conceived as separate worlds, since the people are always the same, under each technology and all those nicknames. If something takes moment I don’t know, in baseball stadiums, you can echo it and  you get (by resonance) the Key Critical Mass in just a few days: not in one Medium, but in the ecology of all the ecologies. It is pure genius having done it.

Even Technorati will have to adjust algorithms, in order to update them to Povia-like strategies !!!

iii) Problems with the fidelisation of Millennials?  There is a cultural, leadership and sentimental strong tye implied in these ecologies.  Therefore, you cannot underplay such a game for longer, in order to find new clients, because this quickly downgrades your CRM with Millennials from STRONG TIES to WEAK TIES. You will then experience a McLuhan’s Ice Age, from being hot to cold. And your perspectives are horrible, namely in times of stag-deflation. It’s the mistake of another Sanremo strategy, by someone  excellent in music (the After Hour band; Povia, on the contrary, is artistically average), but knowing nothing about CRM and fidelisation. They’re on the verge of bankruptcy, the Lehman Bros of Italian bands.


Don’t underplay them, otherwise they’ll get angry and give you a A+, until C–.

MORE on S.Remo testbed:  090219_poviavsafterh


When Tania, my elder daughter was in her early teens, we used to go often to public parks in Mestre or elsewhere, playcenters in the open air (fiere e giostre), etc. I remember such a sense  of alienation, loss and mixed feelings,  one day when a tiny little girl was singing (and knew all the verses, I had forgotten) a leit motiv of my life’s soundtrack – from the motion picture: “zis is MY life.  I try hard 2B tolerant and unselfish but, please, don’t steal all my feelings attached to the Fabrizio de André lyrics and all those other hits, pop songs“.

This is a very important phenomenon in musical marketing, diffusion and sales; as well as in cultural history, transmission and the sociology of generations.

As the greatest Italian rocker Vasco Rossi puts it (someone who brought 1 million people  from 3 generations,  4 soon to the S.Siro  Stadium, Milano), there comes the moment an early teen  feels rebellion against hisher mother:  heshe will be ready to pick up a Vasco’s hit especially tailored for that phase of life, for the sake of cultivating and sublimating  that rebellion. A Big Brother (an anarchist, socialist libertarian notion – by the way) global, systemic jukebox will deliver him  the required service, under such labels as uTube or iTunes.

In biosocial terms, Vasco’s deliberate seller’s strategy (at least ex post andor by division of labour: I can’t see Vasco as a manager, coldly devising all that business plan) corresponds to an interesting frame, where

neither Marx (social classes)

nor Mannheim (generations) rule,

but Piaget (lifecycles) – i.e. the most elementary bare life,  with its Darwinian imperatives mediated through modern culture transmission mechanisms (see Esposito, Bìos  on this unsolved obscillation and sort of contradiction in Michel Foucault and beyond: is it bare, or modern life the subject of biopolitics? If both, in which constellation and kind of eco-systemic relationships?).


Ian and Deborah: Joy was short, and Division too much!

web source fro the image:

Let us start with an example (and we’ll stop here at the moment: the facts of life first, social theories later on; this is solibiopedia style): among the many young stars victim of drug abuse and Ego implosionsexplosions, the Manchester boyz (Joy Division, a band of post-industrial proletarians) leader, vocalist and poet Ian Curtis had a different destiny: he was killed by depression and melancholia, love and lack of attention. He commited suicide when he was just 23, on May 18, 1980; he would be still young now, just 3 years older than  Obama. Their electric-melancholic music and his lyrics would have further evolved into unknown territories. Someone makes the example of the Cure band in this respect, but Ian and the Joy would have hardly followed a “lifecycle” of becoming adults and less rebel as the Cure and most did; the Joy WITH Ian, would have hardly become creative commercial and hybrid discomusic makers, as the Joy without did. Or, perhaps, I am prisoner myself of a classic Myth, rejuvenated by the ever young James Dean.

After that, the band reorganised as New Order; the Manchester Boyz (coming half a generation after the Liverpool ones: see the  link made by the Granada TV man at the beginning of: who had performed in the full team just a few years, enjoy now – another generation after – the highest success ever, in our hyper-mediatic and social media civilisations, where the pervasive ICT systems make everything become pervasive.

Micro-electronics and nano-electronics are the contemporary King Midas: they  deliver pervasiveness and ubiquity to whatever they touch.

pict0534_bassorilievobeatles_buttonstlpoolPhoto efa: The L’pool 4 at L’pool. Basrelief along  “The Cavern” road.

Dorothy, Ian’s widow, wanted the title of the beautiful, moving classic “Love will tear us apart” (now the JD song with more cover versions) written on his grave (because of the evident connection of the theme with his suicide).

But the grave itself  was stolen last Summer,  probably due to such a hyper-mediatisation now on –  2 docs, and the excellent film Control (2007), dir.  by his  photographer and fan Anthon Corbijn: “Unknown Pleasures [their first album] was the soundtrack of my move from Netherlands to England in 1979″.


Their influence on the 1980s music was vast indeed. Bono says,  in the U2 by U2 collective autobiography (ed. by Neil McCormick 2006, HarperCollins, at p. 92):

“It would be harder to find a darker place in music than Joy Division. Their name, their lyrics and their singer were as big a black cloud as you could find in the sky. And yet I sensed the pursuit of God, or light, or reason…a reason to be. With Joy Division, you felt from this singer, beauty was truth and truth was beauty, and theirs was a search for both.”


While singing, Curtis would often perform what was referred to as his “‘dead fly’ dance”, where the singer’s arms would “start flying in [a] semicircular, hypnotic curve”.[4] Simon Reynolds noted that Curtis’s dancing style was reminiscent of an epileptic fit, and that he was dancing in the manner for some months before he was diagnosed with epilepsy.[27]

There is also a sense of robotism in these gestures, like an opening, paving the way to the Kraftwerk’s robotic sound. Look here at the extraordinary interpretation of Ian by Sam Riley in the movie “Control”

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